You should check the floodplain maps to ensure that you are maintaining proper insurance coverage for your property. FEMA recently revised the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) posted on the FEMA website under the Mapping Service Center. You may also view the (now historic) FIRM 1985 maps for comparison purposes.
Floodplain boundaries are updated periodically, based on evaluation of historic weather patterns and improvements in monitoring and assessment technology. In addition to illustrating flood zone boundaries, District flood hazard maps provide background information on local communities, identify areas that have been studied and indicate measures that have been taken to limit flooding issues. DDOE provides written notice to District residents when they are affected by changes to the flood risk maps.
You can also use FIS reports to find additional details, such as base flood elevation data and information about the methods used to create the map. View the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report.
How to Read a Flood Map
Begin by locating the site, and then determine the panel on which the site is located. It may help to find an area with a familiar feature, such as a stream or highway.
Low-risk and moderate-risk zones correspond to the letter "X" or an "X" that is shaded on the map. Inland high-risk zones are labeled with letters such as "A", "AE", "AO" or "AH", and coastal high-risk zones that have additional risk are labeled "V" or "VE". To find your property, refer to the District's flood map index [PDF].
If you need additional assistance to determine whether a specific property is located in a flood zone you may call DDOE's Watershed Protection Division, Technical Services Branch, for assistance at (202) 535-2240.
To view data from the OCTO website, refer to the Data Catalog. Browse Catalog, select environment from the drop down menu to view data for DC's floodplains.